Hitler Reggae Band
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The Hitler Reggae Band were a German reggae band who ran from 1924-1945, founded by aspiring artist Adolf Hitler. The recognisable line-up was Adolf Hitler (vocals), Joseph Goebbels (guitar), Hermann Göring (keyboards) and Benito Mussolini (steel drums). The band was controversial because some of their lyrics have been interpreted as endorsing white and German supremacy, such as those of their hits "White Type Thing", "Deutschland Uber Alles" and "Systematic Execution of People of Non-White Ethnic Origin"; Hitler himself has denied these claims, saying that the lyrics are vague and open for interpretation, and that people are just twisting his words to force controversy upon him.
By 1939, Hitler's band was the face of a revolutionary music movement coming from Germany. His music spread to France through neutral Belgium; meanwhile in England, the musical acts over there disliked this music wave. Winston Churchill, who founded his own band V2, decided in 1939 to counter this musical wave by making their own genre called Britpop. Hitler felt tormented by fame, which led to his suicide by gunshot in April 1945. His fans insist that he did not kill himself, but that his wife Eva Braun actually killed him and made it look like a suicide. Needless to say, Hitler's reputation has been left tattered by Churchill and his cronies.
In the early 1910s, an aspiring artist called Adolf Hitler was rejected from an art school in his native Austria. Upset by this, he moved to Germany and joined the German army. When the first world war was over, he not only had the anger of having been rejected from art school, but also the torment of having watched his friends get blown to kingdom come, as well as being on the losing side of the war. In 1922, the young musician decided to begin his own band, and made some heavy music unheard of by the people of that era. When compared to the heavy, distorted, guitar-blasting noise of future generations of heavy rock acts such as Chuck Berry and Elvis Presley, Hitler's reggae pales in comparison, but at the time, strumming every 2 beats was revolutionary.
The first member to be recruited was Hermann Göring, the organ player, in 1922, and later that year the Italian drummer Benito Mussolini joined. It was a further two years until Hitler got his rhythm guitarist Joseph Goebbels. By 1924 they started performing small gigs around Berlin, Munich, Hamburger, Frankfurter. It was in the small Western Bavarian town of Schneïgenveigenzweigentishenich where they gained most of their fame in 1924. They recorded their first album 'Songs for Schneïgenveigenzweigentishenich' in 1924. Although heavy for the time, it is considered their weakest album compared to future releases.
edit Berlin by Bus
In 1925 they took a year out to record their second album 'Berlin by Bus'. This gave them nationwide fame in 1926 with songs like 'Nazi Reggae Party' and 'Scamming'. They did their nationwide tour of Germany and by the end of 1926 they were the biggest reggae band in Germany (in fact they were the only reggae band in Germany).
edit Worldwide fame
It took three years for their next album to come out because of the amount of work they put into it. 'German chiropractor' was a concept album about a eh... German chiropractor, named Hans. It consisted of three suites (along with more assorted furniture). The first suite started him off in his boring job as a bank clerk, the second suite was about him achieving his life long dream of becoming a chiropodist and the third suite was about him becoming bored. Although it was a concept album the typical elements of their previous album was there like the steel drum beat and the rhythm guitar.
They gained worldwide fame when they began a world tour in the United States of Armenia and the United Kingdom in 1930. Their set consisted of assorted songs from their first two albums and then a complete live set of 'German Chiropractor'. The story was played out on the very front of the stage while behind it the 'Hitler Reggae Band' performed the music.
In 1931 they released an album which had the best recordings from their 1930 world tour.
edit A darker album
Their third album in 1933 Ich Schoß Den Speck (Which translates to Oh Look A Crow in English) was their darkest album and leant towards the slightly gothic rather than reggae. The cover was completely black with a white swastika emblazoned on the front of the album. This was the first album that Italian drummer Benito Mussolini did a rap in Italian; he rapped on the song 'Four Large Oxen'.
He raps: Guardo il negozio e che cosa io vedono, un arcobaleno. Scommettevo che non potete capire questo e non dovete tradurli che per mezzo di un traduttore. which translates in English to: I look at the sky, and what do I see, a rainbow. It looks back at me with its eyes in a big pizza pie.
edit Big break
They had done so much work since 1924 that they decided to take a break from recording between 1933-1938 coming out briefly for an appearance at the Berlin Olympics in 1936, where they did a duet with folk singer Jesse Owens. In 1938 they began work on their fifth studio album called 'Calm Afore the Storm', this was the quickest album they had recorded since 'Songs for Schneïgenveigenzweigentishenich' in 1924. Hitler had this to say:
"We only took a month to record 'Calm Afore the Storm' because we wanted the album to be simple, apart from 'Songs for Schneïgenveigenzweigentishenich' which we recorded quickly and in 'German Chiropractor' which the time was definitely needed we had spent unnecessary time in the studio over-producing our albums. So from now on, our albums are going to be much simpler but still the great reggae that the public know and love"- Adolf Hitler, September 1938, to Ichabe Keinenase magazine
edit Copycats and rivalry
In early 1939 a British band called 'The Churchill Ska' inspired by the 'Hitler Reggae Band' started becoming known by the public. Adolf Hitler's satirical response was an album called 'World War II - part I'.
By 1941 numerous other bands started popping up to get some limelight like the French reggae band 'Les Garçons de Pêche' (which translates into English as The Reggae Guys) and the Russian band 'Белый русский пожалуйста' (which translate into English as Russian Reggae)
The 'Hitler Reggae Band's' answer to this was their second World War II album 'World War II - part II with the tagline' More rivals, More success.
edit Fading away
By 1944 the 'Hitler Reggae Band' was on the verge of losing the supposed 'World War II' due to the other bands were releasing singles. They released their last album 'World War II - part III' in October 1944.
edit Death and sewing
In April 1945 Adolf Hitler was found dead in a bunker in Berlin. He had shot himself in the head. It is unknown why he shot himself. It is thought it was the stress of trying to compete with the reggae rivals. He left a daughter named Yoki Hitler and Goebbels, Göring and Mussolini were distraught and felt they couldn't carry on.
Later that year 'Les Garçons de Pêche' sewed them for copying a song found on 'World War II - part III'. Only Goebbels and Göring turned up (since Mussolini was working on his first rap album). They took cyanide tablets in the bathroom of the court and were both killed.
edit Final stab
Twenty-five years later and the world had completely changed, reggae bands were nowhere to be seen in Europe, the culture had re-located to Jamaica. Germany was split into three parts which were West Germany, East Germany and Western Bavaria, Mussolini had died in 1960 and the Beatles had just split up.
Jon Stallen and Yoki Hitler resurrected the entire line-up in 1971 and they recorded two albums together (Plastic Hitler Album and 'Blind Games') before their resurrection time had run out and they turned into corpses again.
edit Album Discography
- Songs for Schneïgenveigenzweigentishenich (1924)
- Berlin by Bus (1926)
- German Chiropractor (1929)
- German Chiropractor LIVE! 1930 (1931)
- Ich Schoß Den Speck (1933)
- Calm Afore the Storm (1938)
- World War II - part I (1939)
- World War II - part II (1941)
- World War II - part III (1944)
- Plastic Hitler Album (1971)
- Blind games (1973)
edit See Also
- Pieter jan de beers correlation between the loudness of the Hitler reggae band and the amount of cigars Fidel smokes daily